Remembering the dead!!

She was 20 when she died. It was a horrible car accident. Her 22 year old boyfriend was speeding up on the highway. Death came to both of them quickly. They didn’t get time to even think. They were gone in a blink of an eye. I was half asleep when I got the message on my phone from an unknown number.  I made frantic calls to confirm the news. Hoping the news wasn’t true with each call I made. Though it was. I didn’t sleep that night and a lot of nights after that.

She and I werent best friends. Though we had spent a lot of time together in a group. She was pretty, funny, totally crazy and extremely helpful. Slowly as we went our different ways we lost connection. There would be a coffee every 3 months,  and that was about it. I was much closer to her mother. She would call me at random asking me how my badminton was shaping up. She would want to know everything and I would tell her everything. She genuinely believed in me and you have to value people like that.

I went early in the morning to her house. This was my first encounter of going to a funeral.  I went in. There were a lot of people there. They didn’t get the body to the house. It wasn’t in the condition. I saw aunty sitting in a corner in absolute silence. Tears welling up in her eyes but  not falling down. I went close to her. She looked up at me. I didn’t know what to say. I felt in loss of words for the first time in my life. ” I should have never let her go that night. ” she said softly. She hugged me tight and cried for a very long time. I tried to maintain my composure. I couldn’t stay there for too long and I didn’t speak a word till I got back home. As soon as I reached home I hugged my mother and cried uncontrollably. My mother didn’t say anything, she let me be. I went sleepless for quite some time.

After that day I didn’t have the courage to go see aunty. The calls stopped coming too. I thought it was convenient that way, anyway. What was I going to say to her? It was an awkward situation for me, so I ran away from it.It had been three years since her death and I saw my friend’s dad on the road. I remembered him as a man with a belly and jet black hair. Always clean shaven, neat and tidy. Though when I saw him that day I saw a different man. The belly was gone, his hair had gone all white and he had a beard. He looked ten times older than his age. That image of his stayed with me. I felt guilty somehow, selfish! I told mother I am going to meet aunty. ” You should have done that long time back. Well better late than never.” 

I went to meet aunty the next day. I must have thought of not ringing that door bell for at least ten minutes before I eventually did. She opened the door. She looked totally surprised and a few seconds went by before she let me in. I think we both needed those few seconds. We sat I looking around and she looking at me. There was silence, absolute silence and it was very uncomfortable. I had to say something, ” I saw uncle yesterday. I couldn’t recognise him at all. He has lost so much weight. ” She didn’t say anything. ” Let me make you some tea, first.” She left the room. There was a picture of my dead friend, right next to my chair. She looked so young, happy and alive. She came back with tea. She sipped some and spoke, ” He has had a tough time dealing with her loss. Much more than me. He loved her much more than anything else. It’s funny he was the one who would always be so conscious about how he looked and I would never be bothered about my looks. Now he has to be reminded to comb his hair. I on the other hand have become conscious of how I look. Hoping  to make him realise he still has a reason to live for and he still has a wife who loves him very much. ”  I smiled. ” I am really sorry I didn’t come earlier aunty. I just didn’t know what I would have said. ” She kept her hand on mine . ” Its alright.” she quipped.

After the initial discomfort we slowly found our peace. We spoke about my friend. I told her how crazy she was, and aunty told me how she drove her totally nuts. We spoke about her goodness, her love for art, and how she would have been a great painter. I felt much lighter when I came home that night and I also learned an important lesson.

In the world we live today, death is slowly just becoming a number. Newspapers, news channels, talk shows all of them give us various statistics of how many people died in a riot, in a fire, in a natural calamity,in an accident,etc  and we listen to it and then change the channel or flip to the next page. The truth though is behind that numbers are real people. People with families ,  their dreams, and a beating heart. This reality hits you hard when you see death up close. You can’t console the families of every person dying in the world. Though what you can do is visit the ones you have known. Don’t be a coward, and don’t let that momentary discomfort you feel about the situation keep you from remembering the dead with the people who it really matters to. Because your awkwardness about the situation is nothing compared to their loss.

Remembering the dead is the only way to keep them and the people who lose them alive. I know this because aunty has started calling me again. She believes in me still and I value her a lot  more than I ever did before. 


2 thoughts on “Remembering the dead!!

  1. Dear Aditi
    Let me tell u one thing , there was a quote written by Vivekananda – He said ” It is within us that how we look at the world , the world is a beautiful place ” .& ” When I asked God for Peace , he showed me how to help others “.

    Aditi, Very nicely written by you , have put in your good emotions in it.Keep up ur gr8 work.


  2. Dear Aditi

    I am reading the blog for the first time and let me tell u this one is just nice. This made me realise the worth of me in my mom dad's life and how important they are in my life.Thanks for that

    Keep Sharing you experiences with us


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